Oliver Burkeman on New Year resolutions:
behind almost every New Year’s resolution, for example, is the unspoken implication that whatever change we’re trying to make – to start exercising more, eating better, procrastinating less – we’re going to do it every day, perfectly, for the rest of our lives. I’d always wondered why my efforts at such extreme self-discipline seemed to fail every time. But then, gradually, I began to understand that real self-discipline is almost the exact opposite: the willingness to make small, incremental adjustments, to tolerate imperfection and bumpy progress, and not to throw in the towel in frustration the moment something starts to go wrong. In this sense, modest action in fact takes more guts than massive action. But it has the inestimable advantage that it really works.